Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Break Nursery/Guestroom Style

This past week was spring break, so Kelly and I both had the whole week off.  Kelly, being a first-year teacher used it to recuperate and try to bring his stress levels down.  This being my fourth year I don't have as much lesson planning and craziness to deal with, so I didn't feel the need for a whole week of chillin'.  In fact, I had a hankering to do some DIY.  As I previously mentioned, in this post where I made some front-facing bookshelves, the second bedroom is my current project.  Here's where we were at the beginning of spring break:

The bed for guests

The dresser that will sometime in the future double as a changing table, the chair I bought last fall, and the bookshelves I made and wrote about in my last post

Progress, but still needs curtains and the table and lamp are stand ins

The desk that needs a new home.  This is where the crib will go someday.

I made a list of the things I can do for our future nursery/current guestroom: 

I decided that there were things that worked for now as a guest bedroom that could cross over for the nursery, and there were something I couldn't really justify doing until we are pregnant, and probably into my second trimester.  Maybe I should do it all now and call it faith?

Anyway, the first thing I was able to cross off my list was the headboard.  I found out a couple years ago that upholstering a headboard is super easy (as I showed in this hyperactive-Dani-wrote-a-blog-post post.), so I decided just to do that again.  Where the bed is situated, it is in front of the window just a little.  When I made the bed the pillow would hang back onto the window sill and sleeping on a bed with no headboard means your pillow always slides back into the crack between the top of the mattress and the wall.  Annoying!  Because a headboard would block part of the window, I decided to make it low enough to be functional, but not really visible.  So it is only 28 inches tall and a lot of that is behind the box spring and mattress.

Not cool.
I dragged Kelly to Lowe's and found some plywood and had it cut to 55''x28'' and paid for it with the gift card my parents gave me for my last birthday.  Then I went to Joann's coupons in hand (well, first I dropped Kelly off somewhere else because he didn't want to come to Joann's with me) and got 2 yards of some 100% cotton in plain grey that was sturdy enough for some staplegun madness  and was not stretchy (stretchy is no good for upholstery) at only $4.99/yd may I add.  It's goes well with the chair I bought for the nursery (that was when we were still expecting, so no gigantic leaps of baby-furniture-faith yet).  When I went back to the batting I found a very pleasant surprise.  Crib batting was a near-perfect size for my headboard at 45"x60" and it was normally $12.99, but it was on sale for $2.97.  I bought two.  Then I had a coupon for 40% off one non-sale item (the fabric) and another for 25% off my entire purchase.  I gave another 25% off to the lady behind me because hey, why not?  So the entire headboard cost $11 of my own money, plus $13 for the plywood that I got with the gift card.  Not bad.  I was pretty excited when I picked Kelly up waving my Joann's receipt.

I ironed the fabric, laid out a layer of batting, centered the plywood on it and left a couple inches in every direction and cut off the excess.  Then I stapled it at 12, 6, 3, and 9 o'clock.

Then I just went around the rest making sure the batting was tight, but not stretched out. On the corners I was very careful to make them as flat as possible.  To do this I just tucked it like this:

Next I just did the same thing for the second layer of batting and the fabric. 

Woohoo! Headboard!

I probably will secure it to the wall at some point but for now it just rests on the frame and is smashed against the wall by the box spring and mattress.  I used a scrap of 1x2 from the bookshelves to keep it even on the back, since the windowsill pushes it out from the wall on one side

It is just high enough to hold up the pillows when the bed it made, so you can't really see it much. 

But yeah, I got it done in about an hour, so not too shabby for the first Saturday of Spring Break.

For the rest of the break, I worked on some other things on the list.  We had a little side table already as you can see in the previous pictures.  But black doesn't really go, so I thought about painting it white or orange.  I found some material online at for curtains and it's quite orange and will be right behind the table, so I decided white would be better.

Future curtains
So I sanded the little table down and painted it with leftover white paint from the bookshelves I made a couple weeks ago.

The first coat always makes me nervous.

Okay, it wasn't quite done in this pic, but I have a completed picture of it later in the post.
The art in the bedroom wasn't quite doing it for me, either.  I thought it would be cute to have baby pictures of me and Kelly and of our baby but after I got it up there I changed my mind.

So I got on Pinterest, looked up some things and ended up making my own using Word and Paint mostly, although I did copy ideas from some things I saw.  I have GIMP which is like the open source version of Photoshop, but I'm not so good at it, but I am like a savant with Paint ha ha ha.  Here's what I ended up with:

orange and white nursery
I just painted the mats of Ikea frames with a sponge brush and acrylic paint.  It turned out pretty well, I think, although the color isn't true in either of these pictures.
Next up, the mirror:
I had been looking for a mirror for a long time.  We checked places like Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Ross, and I was searching Craigslist everyday for something suitable. I wanted something round to soften all the straight lines in there, and the crib I'm eying has a curved top, so a round mirror would work nicely with that too. Finally we decided to get a mirror that was a little more than I wanted to spend at Ikea, but it was perfect, so we headed over and it wasn't there!  But there was this fantastic silver one.  I thought about painting it white, but after holding it up I decided I love the silver, so I hung it up.  The back only had hardware for one screw, so I put a 143 lb. anchor in the wall and hung the mirror with that, and then used some heavy-duty 3M command strips at 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock so it doesn't shift around.  It's solid, so someday when we put a changing pad on top of that dresser, I'm not worried about the mirror flattening our baby mid-diaper change.

Halfway through spring break we went to Richmond, VA to check it out.  Since moving to Baltimore we've been trying to visit most of the big sites along the east coast.  Richmond wasn't really what we thought, but our hotel was great and we ate at a surprisingly good restaurant called the Strawberry Cafe.  The next morning we checked out the Museum of the Confederacy and the Confederate White House.  Don't worry, it's not run by the KKK or anything.  It was actually an interesting museum focusing on the South during the Civil War without condoning slavery or starting your own country.  And the white house was super interesting and the tour guide was awesome!  I wish I caught his name, but apparently he was an extra in the movie Lincoln, so I'll have to see if I can spot him.  That evening we drove home and it was a nice tiny getaway.
Confederate White House--ssomehow I only took one picture during the whole trip.

On the way home we stopped at Ross where we'd previously seen an orange lamp when we bought a curtain rod.  I was eh about the lamp at first and Kelly lurved it right away, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted it, so we got it and crossed bedside lamp off the list (I got the lamp shade from IKEA because it matches the wall-mounted lamp by the dresser).

On Friday the fabric I ordered online arrived via UPS and I spent that evening making curtains.  I do own a sewing machine, but I'm not so good at using it, so I ended up using iron-on hem tape and it made the hems look a lot crisper and cleaner than I could have with a sewing machine.  I hung them "high and wide" as Sherry Petersik of Young House Love likes to say to make a statement on that wall and to let in the maximum amount of light.  And yes, I won the chevron debate with Kelly.  I mean, he DID pick the colors for the room after all; it's only fair I get to pick pretty much everything else, right?

chevron curtains, orange and white chevron curtains, orange and white bedroom

The space behind the headboard worked perfectly for tucking the curtains back.

So far I love this room.  Now I just need to move the desk somewhere else. In the meantime, my list is looking like this:

Now we need some guests to come stay...Mom? Dad?  Cami and Robbie sometime after your wedding?  Friends with whom I am terrible about keeping in touch?  Come on guys, we're just an expensive plane ticket away!